A mother and father walking with their daughter holding hands.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Co-Parenting Over the Summer

Make Summer Vacation Memorable

Believe it or not, summer vacation is just around the corner, which means parents are getting plans together for vacations or other fun activities for their children to enjoy. For co-parents, summer vacation can be one of the more stressful times of the year, as balancing parenting time agreements with summer travel plans can be difficult.

Co-parents should keep their children at the heart of their thinking going into the summer season. Here are some do’s and don’ts that can help co-parents plan more effectively this year.

Do: Keep Your Child’s Needs First

Perhaps one of the most important things you can do as a co-parent is keep your child’s needs at the forefront of your mind. Remember that this time off of school is theirs to enjoy; while you may take time off work in the summer and have a list of things you would like to do, your children always come first. Keep this attitude as you make plans and as interruptions or unexpected events happen, and have a goal of making this summer one of the most memorable of your child’s life so far.

Don’t: Talk About Anything Legal With Your Children

As frustrated as you may be with your custody agreement, there is never a place to discuss your feelings on this matter with your child. They may not fully understand the legal matters that are involved in your custody agreement, and openly sharing your feelings about your agreement or your co-parent with them can lead to hurt feelings. If you are feeling frustrated, share your feelings with someone you trust, not your children.

Do: Plan Early

If you haven’t discussed anything related to the summer with your co-parent or have no information in your parenting plan about summer, now is the time to make those plans! Sit down with your co-parent and talk about what each of you would like to do over the summer; be honest about your goals and expectations, and be sure to discuss how what you would like to do would be of benefit to your child.

Don’t: Miss Support Payments

Summer vacation may be a break from school, but this time of year does not excuse one from making child support payments as ordered. Child support is not optional. If you have a child support order in place, then you must continue to meet your obligations and pay your child support as ordered on time.

You should also remember that gifts you buy for your child over the summer do not count toward your child support obligation. While it’s certainly nice to treat your child to something special from time to time, this does not lessen your obligation to pay child support according to your order. If you need relief from child support, consider seeking a modification to your child support order.

Do: Communicate Early and Often

Sometimes the unexpected occurs; when situations arise that you did not anticipate, regardless of what it is, you should communicate these with your co-parent as soon as possible. Failure to communicate changes or plans can contribute to problems with your co-parent later on. Whether you make a quick phone call or send a short text message, communication is key to making co-parenting successful.

Don’t: Forget to Consult With Your Attorney

Before making any kind of decision related to summer plans with your child, be sure to consult with your attorney to discuss your plans and get their guidance. Your attorney understands the law and can make sure that you make plans while adhering to your custody agreement. At Blood Law, PLLC, our team knows how important it is to spend time with your children. We are committed to meeting your needs while serving your child’s best interests.

Learn more about child custody in North Carolina by calling us at (704) 286-0570 or by visiting our website.

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